18 February 2014

ANZAC Biscuits

These cookies have turned into quite the troublesome quest.  I said at the beginning of the year that I really wanted to make these ANZAC biscuits from the Saveur 100.  They have uncovered some more of my recipe pet peeves and here they are:
1.  When the recipe isn't accurate.
2.  When the photograph is a true representation.
On the first point, I get it that a cook doesn't want to give up their secrets.  I refused to give out my recipes for years.  There are a few I still keep in my back pocket and won't hand out.  If you are giving out recipes, though.  Give us the one you actually used.  Please.  I followed the recipe from Saveur to the letter and the dough was too dry.  So dry that there was an extra cup or so of dry stuff in the bottom of the bowl that was still not incorporated.  SO, I had to had more liquid to get the dough to even hold together to make a cookie.  The recipe also said that it made about 2 dozen cookies.  I used the same size scoop and ended up with just over 5 dozen.  I know I added some more liquid, but that 1/4 cup didn't make 3 dozen cookies.  It's just not possible.
I made the first dozen of these cookies and they looked nothing like the picture from Saveur, which is the one at the top of this post.  I just couldn't figure it out.  The cookies tasted just wonderful, though, so I kept on baking and said I didn't care what they looked like.  But it just kept bugging me until I looked at the bottom of one of the cookies.  The Saveur picture is of the bottom of the stinkin' cookies.  Maybe it's not a total misrepresentation, but I still feel a little cheated.
Enough of my complaining....So, here are some things you need to know about these cookies:
1.  The name ANZAC is short for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.  These were invented as a long lasting ration during World War I.  The lack of eggs during wartime is also why they're egg-less.
2.  They're delicious.  They are buttery and loaded with coconut and oats.  The cookies are chewy, crunchy, and crispy at the same time.  The traditional cookies are made with golden syrup, which is the British version of our Southern cane syrup.  I made mine with cane syrup since I already had some on hand.  You could also use mild flavored molasses in a pinch.

ANZAC Biscuits
makes about 5 dozen cookies
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
10 Tbsp butter
7 Tbsp cane syrup or golden syrup
Preheat oven to 350°.  Whisk together the oats, coconut, flour, and sugar.  Stir together water and baking soda in a separate small bowl.  Melt the butter and syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat; add the baking soda mixture.  Stir the syrup mixture into the flour mixture to make a very thick dough.  Using a 1 oz scoop or 2 tablespoons, drop cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet 2" apart.  Bake until golden brown, 12-16 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.

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